Smoking is a bad habit possessed by millions of people around the world, and with smoking comes the inevitability of side effects.
We all know of the minor and major health effects smoking has on the system, but we often forget to look at other impacts such as the voice.
Plenty would have heard of the phrase “smoker’s voice”, but how true is this saying? Does smoking really change the way your voice is?
Smoking: An Addiction
Tobacco has been around for thousands and thousands of years, having been grown and eventually indulged in. Whether that tobacco is chewed or smoked, this is an entity which have consumed the lives of many.
Thousands of years ago was the act of smoking seen as a thing of culture, hundreds of years ago was smoking a trend and “cool”, today we all know the harms of tobacco yet still millions of us are smoking. Why is this?
Tobacco contains a substance called nicotine and once that nicotine is introduced to the body, the brain takes over. It is the nicotine which creates this urge to continue smoking and what makes it extremely difficult for people to stop.
It is an addictive drug which causes a physical and mental downfall, a hole which people cannot rise out of.
Smoking tobacco has many negative effects that can completely change the shape of an individual and this is something we are all educated on, yet still people choose to smoke.
It is important to recognize, however, that this is the fault of the nicotine induced brain rather than the smoker themselves. This is not stubbornness nor arrogance. Smokers cannot physically part ways from cigarettes and if they do it takes plenty of help.
The Effects Of Smoking
Smoking cigarettes comes with many negative effects and these effects are mainly surrounding the physical body.
Some effects include:
- Respiratory problems – Many smokers are prone to respiratory problems due to the smoke gathering in their lungs. They are prone to developing asthma and may find simple exercise (such as walking, jogging, heavy lifting) a difficult task compared to a non-smoker.
- Lung cancer – The risk of any type of cancer is heightened for smokers, however lung cancer is on top of the list. The lungs are one of the major areas of the body being affected by constant smoke inhalation and with that the lungs are slowly being destroyed.
- Wrinkled skin – There is a physical toll on a smoker which has an effect on their appearance. Regular smoking causes the skin to fluctuate, becoming increasingly wrinkled and dry. It is often you will find smokers looking older than they are due to this premature aging.
- Constant coughing – The phrase “smoker’s cough” is around for a reason. Smokers naturally develop a persistent cough and this is because of the damage created to the airways.
- Irritability – Irritability comes to those who are away from their cigarette. There are smokers who chain smoke (smoking one after the next), smokers who schedule their smoke sessions (for example, a cigarette before bed) and there are others who smoke as a form of therapy (smoking to calm anxiety). If these occasions are not met, they are prone to becoming irritated.
- Heart Disease – Because of heart disease this means that there is a higher risk of smokers having a heart attack. This is also a concern for a second-hand smoker as their chances heighten also.
The Effects Smoking Has On The Voice
Now for the answer to the question everyone is thinking about – does smoking make your voice deeper? Well, the answer to that is a yes, smoking can indeed make the voice go deeper.
With the constant inhalation of smoke and tobacco, it is inevitable that the voice changes; the voice becomes deep in tone and raspy.
If you think about the process of smoking, you are placing a cigarette between the lips, inhaling smoke, and that smoke travels down the throat and past the vocal cords before hitting the lungs and being exhaled.
This is, in turn, damaging those vocal cords which then leads to a decline in the voice.
Although some people do not care for this effect, this is detrimental to those who need their voice in everyday life. For example, you could be a singer, an actor or a presenter; each of these positions require a good voice. By smoking, this hope is being tarnished.
It is important to note that it is not only the cigarette smoke that destroys the voice. It is also the persistent coughing, cancer (which is a high risk for smokers), chronic laryngitis and much more.
Can The Effects Be Reversed?
Once your voice has been distorted, is there any way to reverse these effects? It has been found that if an individual chooses to stop smoking then they will indeed see a dramatic change in their voice.
Although of course this change won’t be overnight, quitting smoking will do wonders for the voice both in the way it sounds and for repairing damage.
How To Quit Smoking
For anyone to quit smoking is a difficult task, especially for those who are chain smokers or have been addicted for countless years.
Most people rely on cigarettes to function however this is merely the brain being intoxicated by the nicotine. In order to stop relying on nicotine, it is necessary to give up cigarettes altogether.
However, quitting is not an easy journey. It takes a lot of strength, patience and determination.
It also requires support from family, friends or medical specialists in order to stay on the right path. It is very easy for people to fall back into their smoking habit so it is important to resist the urges.
The easiest part is saying you will stop. The second easiest step is refusing that first cigarette. But then come the withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can settle pretty quickly and this the moment people tend to lose their patience and strength.
It is essential to push past that withdrawal and that can be done so long as you are taking the steps to recover.
- Chew gum – Chewing gum is a great distraction. This is something that keeps your hands and mouth busy and takes away the urge to light a cigarette. This is particularly good for those who enjoy chewing tobacco too as it makes an ideal replacement.
- Identify the trigger – People have reasons for picking up a cigarette so it is important to identify yours. You may be stressed at work or smoke to fill in that boredom. Once you have discovered the trigger, you should then find ways to stop this trigger from popping up. For example, if you need a stress reliever, try taking a long steamy bath. If you are bored, read a book or find a Netflix series to be immersed in.
- Exercise – Physical activity has been seen to help people trying to quit smoking. It is an activity that not only helps to recover the body but works as a distraction. Whether you choose to exercise in the comfort of your home, in your backyard, at the gym or just go on an evening stroll, any physical activity works.
- Don’t surround yourself with smokers – If you have friends who smoke, try to avoid them when you know they will be smoking. For instance, they may smoke indoors so avoid going to their house where you smell the scent and hang out outdoors with them. Avoid smoking areas at the workplace or at parties. Let your friends and family know not to smoke around you.
- A gentle reminder – Some days will be tough and you will be at breaking point, so it is important to give yourself a gentle reminder of why you are doing this. Try writing down your thoughts in a journal and write down your feelings, both positive and negative. Perhaps your children will motivate you – remind yourself of why you are doing this by spending as much time with them as possible or having a photograph to look at.
Overall, smoking is an addictive habit performed by many. There is no age, gender or race which changes this data for everyone is susceptible to being addicted.
All it takes is picking up that first cigarette to be hooked and as soon as you know it you are reliant on nicotine.
The worst thing about cigarettes is how it comes with so many effects both long term and short term. You have high risks of developing cancer, have respiratory problems, a persistent cough and a dramatic change in voice.
Smoking has the power to change the entire body, slowly destroying a person until it is too late. That is why it is important to take action.
Although it may be hard, it is very possible to quit smoking and many people have done it. All it takes is patience and determination. Soon enough you will find yourself smoke free and with a healed body.